The Bayelsa State government on Thursday said it had uncovered payroll fraud in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), with the discovery of over 765 illegally employed teachers in the state’s local government councils.
Fifty dead persons were also found on the payroll of Ogbia Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) alone, a statement by the state, sent to PREMIUM TIMES, said.
The discovery of illegal workers cut across the eight local government areas, with Ogbia Local Government Education Authority, (LGEA) leading with 230 illegal employees.
Others are Southern Ijaw LGEA (192); Sagbama LGEA (136); Ekeremor LGEA (108); Brass LGEA (9); Nembe LGEA (25); Yenagoa LGEA (25); and Kolokuma/Opokuma LGEA (40).
The Executive Secretary of SUBEB, Walton Liverpool, said on Thursday in Yenagoa that by the end of the verification exercise, the government would be saving over N100 million monthly.
Mr. Liverpool said, “These sets of workers were illegally employed by fraudsters and now parading as civil servants. As you are all aware, since the inception of the present administration, an embargo has been placed on fresh employment, but some people went behind to employ their cronies and backdated it to 2007.
‘In the course of our investigation, after cross checking the 2007 nominal roll and vouchers with the recent ones, it was discovered that over 765 names have been infused. This has been the practice of some unscrupulous officers in the LGEAs.
“Some of the affected workers are being aided by the LGEA staff. As I am talking to you now, one of them is cooling off at the State Criminal Investigations Department and more will still be arrested.
“It will interest you to know that there are some people on the payroll that are residing in Lagos, Abuja and even Ghana and are drawing salaries in Bayelsa. I am not exaggerating, it is happening.
“By the time, we conclude this exercise, more names will be discovered. I have my facts; those perpetrating the atrocities are not from the Board Headquarters, but from the LGEAs. With this discovery, the state government has been able to save N100 million from SUBEB alone.
“At the end of the exercise, the state government will save over N100 million from the education sector. As you are all aware, the State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has directed all the headmasters and principals to prepare their monthly vouchers.”